Looking for somewhere new to go with friends or family with a foodie vibe that champions Bristols independents in BS1? Nestled amongst Bristols finest, Wapping Wharf is a new, exciting development by the water, next to the M Shed, the Matthew and the SS Great Britain. Welcome Bristols first retail yard made of shipping containers, offering something for everyone, day and night!
Keeping in line with Bristols vibrant and growing food scene, the Wild Beer Company, Pigsty, the Cider Shop, Little Victories and the Chicken Shed are leading the way: Located along the Gaol Ferry Steps, the new pedestrianised area links South Bristol to the city, via Gaol Ferry Bridge.
You want more great news? Phase 2, will see two more storeys of shipping containers behind the M Shed open by the Summer. They will host even more independent food outlets and retailers!
So, on a wet Sunday at the end of January, I was more than happy to be invited to join a small group of Bristol Bloggers to attend a food showcase with the aforementioned retailers; Putting a spotlight on what they can offer you, the good folk of Bristol.
Starting out, we met at The Wild Beer Company; A Somerset based brewery challenging people to drink beer differently! With a choice of around 22 draft beers (also bottles and cans) they are certainly doing that. But don't worry, with the help of an extremely knowledgeable team, they are happy to guide you if your are not sure what to drink.
I sampled a variety of what was on offer, and even on a wet Winters day, I thoroughly enjoyed supping a refreshing pale ale with a tropical flavours called POGO. I can totally see myself drinking this harbourside in the Summer months, along with SLEEPING LEMONS which has a zingy, but warming taste.
If you fancy trying a stout masquerading as a pudding you must try MILLIONAIRE! Using cocoa nibs for the chocolate and caramel flavours and Cornish Sea Salt for the salted element, this was delicious! I would definitely like to come back for a food and beer tasting to get truly acquainted with more beers (£15), which they run fortnightly!
Food at Wild Beer also really hit the spot. Collaborating with Hook restaurants, specialising in a 'new-school' take on fish and chips. We sampled a beautiful fish sharing board of smoked salmon, fresh crab, haddock in panko crumbs, sea bream in lemon and basil tempura, truffle mayo, pickled seaweed and samphire....DELICIOUS! As well as offering fish in panko crumbs and chips, sides and child sized portions too!
A dash across the road from Wild Beer Co, is Pigsty who offer an amazing range of piggy treats to eat in or take out. Pigsty is part of the Bristol family business The Jolly Hog, who have years of experience with hog roasts and sausage making. In house head chef, Nick Bowden, is doing an awesome job and clearly passionate about Pigsty!
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can find Clifton Coffee, bespoke bread from the Proper Bread Company. They have a great selection of drinks too including, Hunts Cider, Wiper and True beers and independently imported wine: My Wiper and True IPA was a perfect match for the food Nick prepared for us.
Not to be missed when you stop in, is the brilliantly named Pig Mac....which is a perfectly seasoned pork patty, slow roast BBQ pulled pork, cheese, baconaise (a mayo made from rendered bacon!) with house coleslaw. WOW!
More piggy delights can be found on the PIG BOARD, which has a plethora of treats! The Whole Hog, (slow roasted pork belly with crackling), apple sauce and slaw, scotch egg, hoguettes (pork belly croquettes), black pudding and apple sausages, pig mac patty, BBQ pulled pork and chimichuro dressing. If that's not enough, feel free to add skin on or sweet potato fries, and an avocado and lettuce salad. Phew. Walk along the harbour anyone?!
Now what goes best with pork? Apples! A quick skip in the rain 2 doors up and we are at....the Bristol Cider Shop greeted by Davinia; The aroma of mulled cider and a wall of over 100 different ciders, perry and brandy was a beautiful thing!
Formerly at the Christmas steps, the Cider shop are enjoying their new location. With more space brings opportunities to host Cider tasting events, including Welsh ciders, cheese and cider tastings, using the Bristol Cheesemonger cheeses. The latter I definitely want to try!
Whilst warming up and drinking mulled cider we learnt how all of the producers are from within a 50 mile radius of Bristol, using 100% fruit; Which certainly shows through in the clean, apple profile of the ones we tried.
The Cider Shop are definitely catering for a wide market, being a vegan and gluten free product, offering cider with fruit and herbal blends and 20 litre cider boxes for party sized catering!!
Next stop up on the corner was Little Victories, which is the sister venue of Small St. Expresso. Meeting John, the co-owner of Little Vics, he expressed his passion and the importance of being in an independent focused location and using Bristols best independent suppliers. This gives a really great vibe and atmosphere to Little Vics.
A friendly, relaxed and welcoming place, Little Vics serves amazing house and guest coffees, from Clifton Coffee, tea, cakes and wonderful sourdough sandwiches with bread supplied by Harts Bakery.
From Wednesday through Saturday, they stay open late and the skills turn to cocktail making! I can truly confirm that they are out of this world and my cocktail drinking days are long gone! Expresso martinis, cold brew negronis and Bristol distilled psychopomp G&Ts: The two former we sampled and were a delight with giant Gordal olives and deep fried almonds.
Our final pit stop, up above Pigsty, was the Chicken Shed, where you will eat the cleanest dirty fried chicken you can find!!
With proper beak to feet eating, the main staples are the Southern fried chicken pieces, chicken in a bun and house chicken Kiev: But if you are up for some more challenging eating, you can certainly try something new. I can thoroughly recommend the devilled chicken livers, hearts and mushrooms on toast and the special when we were there, chicken hearts with tzatziki and chermoula sauce: Shockingly good!
Obligatory sides, which have a place (least not in your 5 a day!!!) slaw, salad, chicken crackling, fries and an awesome selection of Upton Cheyney Chilli sauces. Drinks certainly did not disappoint either, a must try is the fieriest of Bloody Marys using horseradish vodka.... a winner to drink at either end of the day!
I'm not sure on leaving Wapping Wharf whether my full feeling was from the massive amounts of beautiful food and drink we had sampled (probably); Or whether it was from the brimming pride at what our wonderful city is achieving in the food stakes at the moment (definitely).
Wapping Wharf is going to add another dimension to the quality of life of Bristolians who thrive on these kinds of independent lead areas: For me, I can see Wapping Wharf being a place I will go with the girls, my husband or out as a family. That's no mean feet to cater so well for all....and in my opinion everyone so far is getting it spot on. Love you WW!
For more blogs, recipes and recommendations, follow my fuss free foodie life in pictures on Instagram, or Twitter or join the Fuss Free Foodie Facebook group. Lisax
PS. If you want to see what we got up to in a 49 second video click below! Thanks to fellow blogger Jenni Sheldon at Travel to recovery.